Because I wanted to encourage as many teachers as possible to use the computing facilities, and because the headteacher had told me that his definition of my success was having people banging on the doors of the computer labs demanding to be let in, I allowed teachers to book the rooms for the whole term.
The problem with doing so, however, is that people booked a room for a particular period of the week for the whole term — “just in case we need it”. That has two effects, neither of which is desirable.
First, it blocks the room for everyone else. Secondly, it provides no incentive for the person doing the booking to really think about whether it will be necessary.
A far better approach is to apply the laws of supply and demand. If the supply of something — in this case the use of a computer room — is scarce in relation to demand, its price will go up. In this case, the “price” is having something worthwhile to do in the computer room.
So, allowing the rooms to be booked only a week or two in advance is really a better strategy.
We’ve all made mistakes, such as being a bit too excited about the thought of our colleagues using education technology more. I’ve written about seven of mine that I’m almost too embarrassed to think about. Here’s an index to all of the articles in this series.
Want to get ahead, possibly get awards, and get away with not informing anyone of anything remotely useful? This post will tell you how!
If you need more computing equipment (and what school doesn’t?), why not ask the parents?
Is honesty always the best policy? I like to think it is.
When it comes to allowing staff to book computer rooms and other facilities, it doesn’t always pay to be accommodating.
Checklists are often really good — but sometimes they are worse than useless. In my experience, one of those times is when it comes to ensuring that colleagues teach information technology in their own subject lessons.
Gathering research findings into how beneficial education technology could be, er, beneficial. But there are caveats.
In this new series, I look at 7 mistakes I made as an ICT-Co-ordinator. This first article is more of an omission, with the benefit of 20:20 hindsight!